History & Mission
Gallery5’s mission is to facilitate and inspire creativity in our region while operating a museum preserving and celebrating the history of Virginia’s oldest firehouse and Richmond’s oldest police station and jailhouse.
Gallery5 is an award-winning, community-motivated visual and performing art center that has become a premier arts venue for local and regional audiences. Through extensive collaboration with cultural, educational, environmental and social organizations, Gallery5 continues to broaden demographics by encouraging a more diverse, inclusive, and inspired region of art supporters.
Gallery5 showcases cutting-edge contemporary art exhibitions that are designed to further innovation in our region and encourage dialogue among artists and audiences. Gallery5’s exhibitions range from themed solo or group shows, international notables, local favorites and emerging unknowns whose works deserve more public exposure. Through the development of annual fundraisers, exhibitions and unique marketing campaigns, Gallery5 utilizes artistic talents to inspire positive social and economic change and awareness.
Gallery5 is one of the top venues in the region for unconventional and progressive performance art series and is host to weekly visiting arts groups. These performances consist of local and nationally known artists in areas of improvisation comedy, spoken word, film, live music, contemporary dance and theater.
Gallery5 continues to be a catalyst for new creative initiatives, and serve as a launching pad for emerging artists and area non-profits. We exist to provide our community with a space to share their innovations and to engage others.
Gallery5 is located in Richmond, Virginia’s, Historic Jackson Ward district. The gallery opened its doors on April 15, 2005 in an effort to save the life of a National Historic Landmark known as Steamer Company No. 5. Built in 1849, Steamer Company No. 5, is Virginia’s oldest firehouse and Richmond’s oldest police station and jailhouse.This landmark has survived threats of demolition by the City of Richmond for over 3 decades. Without the dedication of volunteers over the past 35 years, an important piece of our city’s history would have been lost.
The downtown arts community has grown exponentially since Gallery5 became an anchor destination, attracting other galleries and businesses to the area. Gallery5 is very proud of its contribution to the revitalization of the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood, and to the many artists and arts organizations that call the area home. Gallery5 is paving the way for positive community change through numerous campaigns, educational workshops, public arts collectives and grassroot collaborations.
Gallery5 has been awarded many notable recognitions and awards over the years.
Some of our awards include
-“Arts Innovator of the Year” 2008 Theresa Pollock Award for Excellence in the Arts
-”Best Independent Art Gallery” Style Weekly’s 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Best of Richmond Awards
-”Best Underground Venue for Music and Arts” Style Weekly’s 2011 Best of Richmond Awards
“Best Gallery in which to see Richmond Artists” Richmond Magazine’s 2011 Best & Worst of Richmond
-“Best Art Gallery” in Richmond Magazine’s 2007 Best & Worst of Richmond Awards.
-“Rising Star” Finalist in the Virginian’s for the Arts: 2010 Art’s Builds Community Awards.
-“Gallery with the Most Attitude” Richmond Magazine’s 2009 Best & Worst of Richmond
-Featured on the front page of the Travel section of The New York Times in their article
36 Hours in Richmond: A Where to go guide for Richmond.
-Style Weekly’s Top 40 under 40 awarded to several of our staff members & collaborators